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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 240 | 241 | (Page 242) | 243 | 244 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Blues overpower Arsenal to stretch leadBlues overpower Arsenal to stretch leadDon't let this slip, Conte tells Chelsea A firm header from Marcos Alonso, a dazzling individual effort from Eden Hazard and a lob from Cesc Fabregas earned Premier League leaders Chelsea an emphatic 3-1 victory over Arsenal. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte promised to keep a close eye on his players' concentration levels after they tightened their grip on the Premier League title race by beating Arsenal.

    Goals from Marcos Alonso, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas gave Chelsea a 3-1 win on Saturday that left them 12 points clear of Arsenal and nine points above second-place Tottenham who edged Middlesbrough 1-0.

    But Conte said his own experiences of home-straight collapses as a player and coach with Juventus means he will not consider the race over until the trophy is in his hands.

    “I don't slip and I don't want my players to slip,” he told reporters at Stamford Bridge, in an unwitting echo of Steven Gerrard's words prior to Liverpool's collapse in the 2013-14 season.

    “In my squad I have a lot of players with good experience, because they won a lot in their careers. They know that until now we haven't won the title.

    “And it's important to know this, to keep our antennae very high, because in my career as a footballer, above all as a footballer, I won a lot, but I lost a lot.

    “And when you lose three finals of the Champions League and you win only one, I think you have a great hunger.

    “During my experience as a footballer I won a title with eight points (to make up) four games before the end and another time I lost in the same way.”

    The chief talking point from Saturday's game centred around Chelsea's 13th-minute opener, awarded despite Alonso cleaning out Hector Bellerin with his forearm as he leapt to head the ball in.

    Bellerin had to go off, to be replaced by Gabriel, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger felt it was “100 percent a foul”.

    Conte, unsurprisingly, took a different view.

    “In England, in this league, this is always a goal,” he said.

    “This ball, it's a contest and Alonso jumps more than Bellerin and scores a goal. To hear this in England, I'm surprised. I must be honest. In Italy, maybe (it would have been a foul).”

    Hazard scored a stupendous second goal in the 53rd minute, running from the centre circle, shrugging off Francis Coquelin and twice outfoxing Laurent Koscielny before squeezing a shot past Petr Cech.

    Conte said Hazard was in “great shape”, but said his defensive efforts off the ball had pleased him more than anything.

    Former Arsenal captain Fabregas lobbed in Chelsea's third after a misplaced kick from Cech before Olivier Giroud replied with a stoppage-time header.

    Despite his reservations about Alonso's opener, Wenger conceded his side's defensive errors and attacking profligacy had been equally responsible for the outcome of the match.

    “We were really naive and not clinical in our defending,” said the Frenchman, who watched powerlessly from the stands as he served the third game of a four-match touchline suspension.

    “Then Chelsea looked the better side. We took risks and they were well organised and played well on the counter-attack and looked powerful.

    “We lost the ball many times. In situations we lacked maturity and experience.”

    Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil were conspicuously incapable of giving Arsenal a foothold in the game, but Wenger would not be drawn on individual performances.

    “I leave that to you. It's very difficult for me to comment individually on players after a big disappointment like that,” he said.

    “Individually we were not at our best in some positions. But it's very difficult to speak about that straight after the game.”

    Once again Arsenal's title hopes have faded miles from the finish line, but Wenger refused to look beyond next weekend's home game with Hull City when asked where defeat at Chelsea left his side's season.

    “It leaves us to focus and prepare to win the next game,” he said. “That's what football is about.”

    And Chelsea? “It's for them to lose it.”



    NAMPA/AFP

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    Australian Howson wins Herald Sun TourAustralian Howson wins Herald Sun Tour Australian domestique Damien Howson claimed victory in the Herald Sun Tour yesterday, holding off a couple of attacks from three-times Tour de France champion Chris Froome over the fourth and final stage for his first overall race win.

    The 24-year-old Orica-Scott rider, who won his first stage to open the race proper on Thursday, finished in the peloton 17 seconds behind Britain's breakaway stage winner Ian Stannard after four laps of Kingslake. “I really enjoy working with my team mates and that's as much success as I need,” said Howson, who edged compatriot Jai Hindley by 38 seconds to top the general classification.

    “But when the time comes, and you just get that little bit of glory, that's why everyone rides a bike.”

    Stannard's Team Sky team mate and compatriot Froome had started the day needing to make up one minute, 12 seconds on Howson if he was to defend the title he won last year.

    It never looked like happening on a course featuring little in the way of serious climbs, however, and he finished in sixth place with the same deficit.

    “Tactically we made some very different choices this year,” Froome told reporters.

    “It didn't pay off for us, it went in Damien Howson's favour and hat's off to him, he's ridden a really good race.”

    Colombian Esteban Chaves, who also rides for Orica-Scott, finished ninth, three seconds behind Froome.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 02/05/17--14:00: Another milestone for James
  • Another milestone for JamesAnother milestone for James Cleveland star LeBron James scored 32 points and became the youngest player to score 28 000 in an NBA career as the Cavaliers downed the New York Knicks 111-104 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

    James, 32, took his career points tally to 28 020, good for eighth on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

    He reached the milestone with a step-back jumper that gave the Cavaliers a 45-31 lead with 6:49 left in the second quarter.

    He also handed out 10 assists, and with two more will pass Lenny Wilkens (7 211) for 13th on the career list.

    The NBA champion Cavaliers were without guard Kyrie Irving, who sat out with soreness in his right quadriceps. Deandre Liggins started in his place, scoring five points without an assist.

    Kevin Love returned to the Cavs line-up after missing two games with back spasms. He contributed 23 points and 15 rebounds as Cleveland took their Eastern Conference-leading record to 34-15.

    The Knicks fell to 22-30. They haven't won two straight games since December 20-22.

    Brandon James paced New York with 23 points and 10 assists. Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, the subject of persistent trade rumours, scored 17 points but connected on just six of 21 from the floor.

    The Knicks were without point guard Derrick Rose, sidelined for a fourth straight game by a sprained left ankle. And starting centre Joakim Noah departed early with a sore left hamstring.

    New York showed signs of life late, scoring six straight points to trim Cleveland's lead to 106-101 with 59 seconds remaining.

    But James found Love for an uncontested three-pointer as the Cavs pulled away again.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    'Ugly display turns into beautiful win''Ugly display turns into beautiful win'Scotland dream of end to 18-year wait It was a weekend of tough rugby, with Scotland head coach Vern Cotter optimistic that his team's victory has “changed the dynamics” of their Six Nations campaign. England's growing strength in depth was underlined in bold at Twickenham on Saturday as the influx of replacements in the last 20 minutes dragged the initiative from France and helped the Six Nations champions battle out a 19-16 victory.

    England trailed 16-12 after an hour as Rabah Slimani scored the opening try for France, who had been the better team for most of the first half.

    Within minutes coach Eddie Jones had virtually emptied his bench and the fresh men made an immediate impact.

    Flanker James Haskell, who has played only a few minutes all season after toe surgery, prop Matt Mullan, winger Jack Nowell, scrumhalf Danny Care and burly centre Ben Te'o were all immediately involved in a sustained period of pressure, as was Maro Itoje, who seemed to get a second wind after being switched back to his preferred lock role after starting in the back row.

    The relentless attack and fresh legs punched holes in the tiring French defence and Te'o blasted through one of them for the decisive try two minutes after coming on.

    “The finishers made a fantastic impact on the game, we got really good value from them and that is the strength of our team, we have a brilliant 23-man squad,” said Jones, who were without five first-team

    regulars.

    Hooker and captain Dylan Hartley, who as usual gave way to Jamie George midway through the second half, agreed. “A huge amount of credit needs to go to our finishers today. Ben Te'o and James Haskell gave us some go forward at the end there,” he said. “Jamie George came on and our set-piece was outstanding, Matt Mullan came on and shored things up. Everyone who came on today added something to the performance.”

    The strong finish could not, however, disguise the fact that England had been poor to the point of ragged in the first half and were lucky to reach the break at 9-9.

    So there was no fanfare from Jones, despite chalking up a national record 15th successive victory.

    “It doesn't get much uglier than that,” said the coach, who during the week had called for his side to be “daring”.

    “We weren't our usual urgent selves and maybe I've got to look at the preparation I gave the team.

    “The performance was ugly, but the result is beautiful.”

    A losing bonus point and man of the match honours for No 8 Louis Picamoles were scant consolation for France, who have won only one Six Nations game at Twickenham in 20 years.

    “It was a very good performance from us but we lose again,” he said. “We need to win and continue to work hard but it was a good performance.

    “The positive to take is the spirit we had. We stayed strong the whole game against a strong side but we need to be more pragmatic and we need to take the points when we go on the attack.”

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    United cannot poach to weaken rivals - MourinhoUnited cannot poach to weaken rivals - Mourinho The days of Manchester United weakening their Premier League rivals by poaching their best players are a thing of the past, manager Jose Mourinho has said.

    United, who have bought Robin van Persie from Arsenal and Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur in the past, have not brought in a player from a top-four rival since signing Juan Mata from Chelsea in January 2014.

    “Football has changed in the three years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

    This is the new football. Do you think I can go to Tottenham and buy two players to kill Tottenham? I can't,” Mourinho told British media.

    “I cannot go to Arsenal and buy their two best players, or go to Chelsea and bring two of the players that I love.

    That time is over. The situation where you could start to become the champions by attacking your opponents is over in this country.

    “If you get a player from a top club, you only get a player those clubs don't want to keep. You cannot attack your rivals any more.

    It used to be that when one of the big clubs was getting stronger, another of the big clubs was getting weaker.”

    United, who are sixth in the table, travel to face struggling league champions Leicester City, in 16th, on Sunday.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    Blitzboks down England for third Sevens series winBlitzboks down England for third Sevens series win South Africa's Blitzboks won their third World Rugby Sevens Series of the season with a dominant 29-14 victory over England in the final in Sydney yesterday.

    Led by man-of-the-match Seabelo Senatla, South Africa scored five tries to England's two.

    Neil Powell's Blitzboks have now won three of this season's four world series finals and stretched their lead to 17 points over England in the championship standings.

    It was the second consecutive week that Senatla had been crowned player of the final after the Blitzboks' 26-5 win over Rio Olympic champions Fiji in Wellington last week.

    “It is incredible. The guys are just magicians. Hats off to them, I am just the finisher of the moves,” said Senatla, whose try in the final was his eighth of the tournament and the 189th in his world series career.

    Senatla leaves the Blitzboks at this event to play in the 15-man Super Rugby with the Western Stormers.

    “It is bitter-sweet. We play here with family so it is a pity to be leaving the family but it's a new challenge I am excited for,” he said.

    It was South Africa's first Sevens win in Australia since their back-to-back titles in Adelaide in 2008 and 2009.

    “The team stuck to the structure and well done to them. It is extra-special because it's our first back-to-back in Australasia so hats off to all in the system,” said South Africa captain Philip Snyman.

    England, who upset defending champions New Zealand 12-5 in the semi-finals, beat the Blitzboks in the Cape Town final in December and were bidding for their first victory in Australia since 2003.

    New Zealand staged one of their greatest escapes to knock out mighty Fiji 24-21 in the quarter-finals with a last-ditch try by Sione Molia, who started from behind their own try-line with time up.

    A total of 75,000 fans braved searing heat over the three days of the tournament.

    The fifth leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series takes place in Las Vegas on March 3-5.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    NPL AGM discusses constitutionNPL AGM discusses constitutionLeague sponsorship also receives attention The Namibia Premier League (NPL) AGM touched on several football matters, with a new constitution being at the centre of the deliberations. The Namibia Premier League (NPL) is yet to adopt a new constitution, despite lengthy deliberations during its extraordinary AGM on Saturday.

    Speaking to Sport Wrap yesterday, NPL spokesperson Cassius Moetie said the constitution was the main topic on the agenda but other football matter were also discussed.

    “We started with the constitution, so all the 16 clubs have really done due diligence to the constitution as good input was also given and everybody was satisfied with the input given at the end of the day.

    “We could however not adopt the constitution and had to refer it to NFA because we are members, so NFA must be satisfied with the NPL constitution and that is why we referred it to NFA for them to peruse the constitution and to see if it speaks to theirs.

    “Once they are happy then they will inform NPL accordingly and when we receive that correspondence from NFA that it is satisfied, then NPL will convene a board of governance meeting and will take note of the appreciation and then approve the constitution then only will it be referred to another extra ordinary AGM for endorsement,” he explained.

    Moetie said other football matters were discussed but those were not for public consumption.

    “The NPL members also discussed other matters including the sponsorship of the NPL. All other matters discussed at the AGM are not ready for public consumption and the NPL will make this announcement in due course,” he said.

    He added that clubs' affiliation fees were also discussed as well as the status of clubs that are not in good standing in terms of their affiliation payments. “Those clubs were reminded to pay and make sure that they are in good standing immediately.”

    KAINO NGHITONGO

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    Kunzle hopes for international eventKunzle hopes for international eventRiding remains part of me, says showjumper Namibia's top equestrienne, Michelle Kunzle, has big plans for the year and hopes to win the Sportswoman of the Year title once again. Michelle Kunzle hopes to get a chance to ride at an international event this year.

    In an interview with Sport Wrap Kunzle said her biggest goal was to win the FEI World Showjumping A category and get a chance to qualify for the world championships in Europe.

    Another goal is to retain her title of Namibian showjumping champion.

    “The exposure to ride in other countries is very important because a lot can be learned at these events and there is no better way of gaining experience than being there and riding among some of the best riders in the world.

    “Coming back home with new knowledge and passing it on to students is a big bonus, as both the instructor and student can gain huge amounts of new training methods and ideas,” she said.

    She mentioned that in addition to her dream of international events, she will be competing at most local events to stay in the top ranking for the annual Namef rider awards.

    Kunzle said she would love to win the Sportswoman of the Year title again, “but to be honest I know that I do not really have a chance as my past year was only really successful in Namibia and I did not bring enough international titles home, so now I can work towards a new set of goals and if all goes well this year I might just have a chance at the title again.”

    She said the year got off to a brilliant start with the annual Swakopmund showjumping event held in the first week of January. All four of her horses won their respective classes.

    “The next couple of months are quiet as the showjumping season only starts end of May again, so two of the horses are having a break here at home and two went on a holiday on farms,” she said.

    She explained that it is important for competition horses to have some time off to run free and process all the new things they have learned.

    “Now it's time to train the young horses that are still green, as they need to be broken in and trained to become competition horses.”

    The passionate rider says the sport is part of her life and not merely a hobby.

    “Growing up with these special creatures is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and I cannot imagine my life without horses.

    “Horse riding a great sport and seeing children, juniors and adults bonding with their horses and building a relationship of trust, love and loyalty is really great.

    “The sport is quite expensive but worth every penny.

    Within the last year it has definitely picked up, which is great as more riders and bigger competitions are always good and keeps one on one's toes,” she said.

    KAINO NGHITONGO

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    Total Namibia wins Volleyball for AllTotal Namibia wins Volleyball for AllThrilling day for volleyball fans The annual Volleyball for All event attracted more people than usual, with 240 teams participating in the mixed category. Total Namibia were crowned the 2017 Volleyball for All champions after a thrilling and intense competition between 240 teams.

    The 34th edition of the Windhoek Draught DTS Volleyball for All event took place on Saturday, with 240 teams in the mixed category.

    Hundreds of supporters packed the DTS grounds to cheer for their teams, as organisers, helpers and referees worke together to make the event run smoothly.

    The biggest volleyball event in Southern Africa was supported by Windhoek Draught as the main sponsor, and Intouch Interactive Marketing and Radiowave 96.7FM as co-sponsors.

    In the tower, Gunnar von Dewitz, Heiko Kesselmann and Sybille Moldzio made sure that teams, referees and helpers ended up on the correct court.

    The 20 courts were sponsored by Windhoek Draught, Intouch Interactive Marketing, Radiowave, Hartlief, E-med Rescue, NMH, Afrox Linde, Red Bull, Cymot, Avani Hotels, Retirement Fund Solutions, Financial Consulting Services, Solsquare Energy, ENSafrica, Business Connexion, Wings, Score Energy drink, Mobipay, Bottoms Up and the Timeout Beach Volleyball Academy.

    Prizes sponsored by Maerua Superspar, Interpack, ENSafrica, African Marketing and Namibian Breweries were not only awarded to the four winning teams, but also to the best dressed, most energetic, and sportiest teams, as well as the team with the best team spirit.

    This year, prizes were handed over by Gazza, who entertained the crowd during the prize ceremony, before the party continued in the tent with DJ Coco.



    Following are the results:

    Mixed:

    1. Total Namibia Price: Gold Medal, and (31-27) Products from Windhoek Draught & Vigo

    2. Die Pauker Price: Silver Medal, and Products from Windhoek Draught & Vigo

    3. Spikoholics Price: Bronze Medal, and ( 16-13) Products from NBL, Windhoek Draught & Vigo

    4. French Polony Price: Fabupharm Giftbags.

    SPORT REPORTER

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    Is this the death of sport in Namibia?Is this the death of sport in Namibia? Whoever expected things to get as bad as they have in sport? What we are hearing now is not only a sorry state for sports but indeed a worrying one that the sports commission is also cutting its financial support to sport codes.

    What is happening is basically an indication that parents will have to fund sports from their own pockets and that only the most privileged children will be able to participate in sport.

    I think the level we have reached is so bad that we can as well declare a state of emergency because of the amount of talent that we are going to lose.

    One wonders what our leaders are waiting for before realising that there is an urgent need to rescue sport.

    The recent turn of events that saw the netball team's parents stepping in to fund their children's transport to South Africa was a clear indication that the road Namibian sport is on is bumpier than ever.

    If no one steps in to rescue sport soon, we can forget about seeing the bright side of sports in this country and that whoever cannot only be the government.

    This situation should be seen as a national issue that affects each and every individual and not only the men and women that get on the field of play.

    It angers one to see the direction we are facing and that it is a sorry one that does not look promising at all.

    It is about time that we come out clear about what we want to achieve in sport and not just do sport for the sake of it. Our young people are left to wander in the streets because there is nothing productive to engage in.

    For how long are we going to throw our young ones into the streets because there is no money to fund sport? This situation cannot go on like this and I am challenging each and every individual who has sport at heart to come together and see a solution to this.

    What currently happens is that these young ones get groomed so well but that talent is totally killed when they want to turn professional in their respective disciplines because of MONEY…. One then wonders why a small nation such as Namibia should be the one to cry so much about finding when we also have so many natural resources. The question then comes back to what we are doing wrong.

    Much as I think the issue of sport codes we have in this country is also unreasonable, I am fully aware of the funding that is given to such sport codes but that too makes no sense because there are other countries that are flourishing in different sport codes, so we can too.

    This is the time for the corporate world to step in and help sport codes develop and grow their sport codes in different areas of the country.

    Sport codes too have to come up with plans and approaches that are convincing enough to get sponsors on board, else they should forget about making it anywhere in the world.

    We have laid a foundation and cannot afford to break that because of finances, so it is not for sport codes to make a plan B and also rely less on government funding.

    This should not be the death of sports but a wakeup call that sport administrators should embrace and continue serving sports.



    kaino@namibiansun.com

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    Embarrassing end to Meroro's careerEmbarrassing end to Meroro's careerPromoter disappointed by boxer's performance The highly anticipated fight between Namibian boxer Vikapita Meroro and South Africa's Kevin Lerena ended on a disappointing note for the Namibian. After a disappointing performance in South Africa on Saturday Namibian boxer Vikapita 'Beastmaster' Meroro hung up his gloves.

    The unfit boxer showed reluctance from the onset and was sent to the canvas in the first round of the 10-round international catchweight bout.

    Meroro threw sloppy punches at the South African and in the fifth round, when he seemed to be gaining momentum, he decided to surrender.

    Lerena was declared the winner by TKO.

    Promoter Nestor Tobias said: “We are obviously very disappointed with Meroro's behaviour and display of sportsmanship at this level, but we however thank him for having served the sport of boxing.

    “We cannot forget the fact that as bad as his last display was, he was once a world rated boxer who knocked out opponents at every given opportunity.

    “We would like to sincerely apologise to all boxing fans, because we know this is not the standard they expect from our boxers who have proven to be world class,” he said, adding that they took full responsibility for this below-standard performance and would make the necessary adjustments.

    Tobias was quick to point out that Meroro's poor shape and display were not a reflection of other boxers in his stable. “We generally have a very high level of discipline, and the fitness levels of our boxers are of high standard, but there will always be one or two exceptions which do not necessarily reflect our general standard,” he said.

    “We can only give every boxer an opportunity to fight, but when they step into the ring it is up to them to make best use of the given opportunity,” he said.

    The 34-year-old Meroro holds a record of 34 fights, 28 wins and 6 losses.

    Despite the loss, Tobias is upbeat about Namibian boxing.

    “We are now headed straight to Puerto Rico where Jafet 'The Lion' Uutoni will face Angel Acosta for the Final World Title Eliminator. Uutoni is in the best shape of his life, he has worked extremely hard and we expect nothing but a win from him.”

    KAINO NGHITONGO

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    US envoy eyes cuts to UN peacekeepingUS envoy eyes cuts to UN peacekeepingHuge impact on the progress toward peace deals The peacekeeping review could have serious implications for stability in Africa. Washington's new UN envoy Nikki Haley is putting in motion a far-reaching review of UN peacekeeping that is likely to lead to closures and downsizing of missions, according to diplomats.

    Haley took up her post with a vow to overhaul the United Nations and "do away" with what she termed as "obsolete" activities amid fresh clamour in Washington over US funding for the world body.

    During one-on-one meetings with Security Council ambassadors this week, the new US envoy raised peacekeeping as a priority for cuts, zeroing in on the UN's flagship enterprise, according to three diplomats with knowledge of the discussions.

    "On UN reform, I think there is a particular interest in peacekeeping," said a Security Council diplomat.

    Haley is setting up a mission-by-mission review of all 16 peace operations and is "relatively skeptical" of the value and efficiency of many of the blue-helmet deployments, said the diplomat, who spoke on background.

    A senior Security Council diplomat told AFP that peacekeeping reform was "a priority" for the new US ambassador "who wants to work closely with key partners on the issue in the coming weeks."

    While the United States has few soldiers serving as peacekeepers, it is by far the biggest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping, providing nearly 29% of the US$7.9 billion budget for this year.

    During hearings at the US Senate last month, Haley made clear she was seeking to bring the US share of funding for peacekeeping to below 25 percent and said other countries should step in to shoulder the burden.

    "We have to start encouraging other countries to have skin in the game," she said.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    US envoy eyes cuts to UN peacekeepingUS envoy eyes cuts to UN peacekeepingHuge impact on the progress toward peace deals The peacekeeping review could have serious implications for stability in Africa. Washington's new UN envoy Nikki Haley is putting in motion a far-reaching review of UN peacekeeping that is likely to lead to closures and downsizing of missions, according to diplomats.

    Haley took up her post with a vow to overhaul the United Nations and “do away” with what she termed as “obsolete” activities amid fresh clamour in Washington over US funding for the world body. During one-on-one meetings with Security Council ambassadors this week, the new US envoy raised peacekeeping as a priority for cuts, zeroing in on the UN's flagship enterprise, according to three diplomats with knowledge of the discussions.

    “On UN reform, I think there is a particular interest in peacekeeping,” said a Security Council diplomat.

    Haley is setting up a mission-by-mission review of all 16 peace operations and is “relatively skeptical” of the value and efficiency of many of the blue-helmet deployments, said the diplomat, who spoke on background. A senior Security Council diplomat told AFP that peacekeeping reform was “a priority” for the new US ambassador “who wants to work closely with key partners on the issue in the coming weeks.” While the United States has few soldiers serving as peacekeepers, it is by far the biggest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping, providing nearly 29% of the US$7.9 billion budget for this year.

    During hearings at the US Senate last month, Haley made clear she was seeking to bring the US share of funding for peacekeeping to below 25 percent and said other countries should step in to shoulder the burden.

    “We have to start encouraging other countries to have skin in the game,” she said.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/05/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day PEACOCK LADY: Indian school students perform the 'mayillattam' Peacock Dance during a parade to mark Republic Day in Chennai recently. India marked its 68th Republic Day with parades and events across the country. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/05/17--14:00: Charting a new way forward
  • Charting a new way forwardCharting a new way forward Finance minister Calle Schlettwein recently hosted a media conference where he used the opportunity to dispel inaccuracies regarding the liquidity crisis besetting the economy as well as other concerns. The current financial crisis has affected everyone, including major parastatals like Air Namibia, which has for long been a drain on the fiscus. With fiscal consolidation expected to continue into the new financial year, of interest is how this would impact on the operations of state-owned enterprises that receive huge bailouts every year from government. In response to a question on Air Namibia Schlettwein said its role could not be disregarded solely because it was a loss-making parastatal but that it had contributed significantly to the tourism sector. Another reason Schlettwein outlined was that if the state was to stop bailing out Air Namibia, it would be much more expensive to pay for the long-term leasing agreements for the Airbus 320s currently in its fleet. Granted the minister was justified in his response but with growing interest by large airliners at Hosea Kutako International Airport is it perhaps not the time to look into a lasting exit strategy especially in light of the liquidity crisis? Does it therefore make sense to fly long haul to one destination if at this point in time there are five airlines that can serve European legs perfectly well. Many have made the argument that Air Namibia should shift its focus to domestic routes and perhaps capitalise in this regard. Take a leaf out of our neighbours to the left, Botswana, who have since changed the model surrounding their state-owned airline and still continue to attract tourists in the absence of a flag-carrying international airline or better yet, Zambia who much recently grounded their national airliner. With a fleet of just two A320s, is it not laughable that we see ourselves compete on par with Emirates or even KLM-Air France. Perhaps now is the time to start code-sharing agreements. Let the big boys fly in the international travellers, we can take it further and fly them to our prime tourist destinations not just here but across Southern Africa. Maybe now is the time to revive the Windhoek - Maun leg as a starting point. Perhaps with the greater interest the Namibia Airports Company can benefit significantly and at the end of the day, our foreign earnings.

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    60 000 Windhoek warrants outstanding60 000 Windhoek warrants outstanding At least 60 000 warrants are currently outstanding while the number increases, on average, by 500 monthly. This is according to the Windhoek City Police that revealed these shocking statistics this week.

    Speaking on the matter, City Police spokesperson Fabian Amukwelele said: “The Windhoek City Police had a resounding operation on Warrants of Arrest. The operation involved going to corporate organisations and various government entities to execute warrants of arrest issued by the Magistrate's Court. To date, a total of 63 people were arrested and escorted to court to settle their warrants, including a foreign national who was randomly pulled off the road during the operation for not being possession of an authorisation to transport passengers.”

    A traffic warrant is a warrant for a person's arrest. The court issues a traffic warrant when a motorist fails to pay a traffic fine or fails to appear in court to answer to a traffic summons. When a road user receives a traffic ticket, they either pay the fine or appear in court.

    “Failure to comply may result in the court issuing a warrant of arrest and a penalty of N$2 000 for contempt of court, which is then added to the original fine. If a member of the public suspects he or she may have a traffic warrant, they can contact the City Police to make arrangements to pay the fine. The current arrangement with the court is that drivers who voluntarily come to our office to check if they have warrants of arrest will not be arrested,” he warned.

    “The operations on these warrants are a continues process and do not have an expiry date. It is only the method of operations that will change from time to time, for example setting up of temporary road block or going to work and residential places,” Amukwelele concluded.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 02/05/17--14:00: Endjala applauds teachers
  • Endjala applauds teachersEndjala applauds teachers The governor of the Omusati Region, Erginus Endjala, has described educators in his region as “teachers and principals by desire”.

    Last week Namibian Sun reported that teachers and principals in the Omusati Region were using their own money to pay for teaching aids and field trips.

    Some schools in the region did not receive any money from the UPE and USE resource for the whole of last year, but the region was ranked third in the national grade 10 examinations and eighth in the grade 12 ordinary level examinations. According to Endjala this is a sign of commitment by teachers and school managers.

    “We have teachers and principals by desire in our region. They are operating under harsh conditions with limited resources, insufficient classrooms, lack of electricity, poor sanitation facilities, but they are committed to work hard and produce the best results in the country. This is something to be proud of,” Endjala said.

    The governor was speaking at a meeting of school principals at Outapi last week.

    Last year, 11 schools in the region achieved 100 percent pass rates in the grade 10 examinations, while four schools were among the top 10 best-performing schools in grade 12 ordinary level.

    “I am calling up on the regional headquarters to maximise support to our schools. Finance: make sure that teachers are paid on time; human resources: make sure to accelerate appointment of teachers; and planning: make sure that infrastructure and furniture are provided to schools,” Endjala urged.

    Endjala also urged principals to remain committed to their work while the directorate of education addressed their plight.

    ILENI NADJATO

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    SADC must intervene in armyworm outbreakSADC must intervene in armyworm outbreakPest has spread to six Southern African countries The minister of agriculture has called for a regional response to an outbreak of fall armyworm which is devastating crops in Namibia and five other SADC countries. Agriculture minister John Mutorwa has urged SADC to urgently intervene and assist countries that are facing an armyworm outbreak that is devastating crops in Namibia and other Southern African countries.

    The outbreak of fall armyworm - an invasive Latin American species that is harder to detect than African armyworm - erupted in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia following rains that broke a four-year drought.

    The pest is likely to have been in the region for five or more years, but because of the drought and other factors it did not manifest.

    In Namibia the outbreak started in January at some of the country's largest irrigation schemes. It is estimated to have cost the country more than N$20 million so far.

    The areas affected most were Omusati and Ohangwena in the north, as well as Kavango East and West. The worms have now spread to the Zambezi Region and the Maize Triangle further south.

    The agriculture ministry identified the caterpillar species as fall armyworm, bollworm and maize stalk borer.

    Bollworm destroys the maize cobs, while armyworm devours foliage. Stalk borer is common in Namibia and destroys some of the young crops.

    “As if the drought was not devastatingly serious enough, our country and also other countries in SADC are facing the wrath of the worms that are devouring our crops,” Mutorwa said yesterday.

    He said since the caterpillars had invaded a number of SADC countries it was important to coordinate a regional response.

    Mutorwa said SADC last year made its voice heard with regard to the drought and therefore it could not be quiet now.

    He called upon the ministry's staff to intensify their efforts to help crop farmers.

    The ministry's Plant Health Division and regional extension offices are supplying pesticides and equipment for spraying the affected fields.

    Farmers are also advised to dig deep trenches around their fields to stop the pests from spreading.

    “In case of low pest populations and farmers with relatively small plots, the hand-picking of caterpillars is advised,” Mutorwa said.

    Mutorwa said 2016 was a most difficult year for the agricultural and water sector because of the most severe drought in memory.

    He added that storage dams were still dangerously low despite the rain that some parts of the country had received.

    He said all drought-relief and water-supply programmes must continue as long as funds permit.

    “The alternative is too ghastly to contemplate.”

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Mandume centenary spells unityMandume centenary spells unityPeople of various tribes attend event The commemoration of the death of King Mandume Ya Ndemufayo 100 years ago was marked by the inclusion of other traditional authorities and opposition leaders. Today marks exactly 100 years since King Mandume Ya Ndemufayo died fighting for the freedom of his people from foreign occupation and at his centenary commemoration at the weekend Namibians were urged to remember the past and move on while upholding unity.

    It was a colourful day at the centenary commemoration which took place at the Oukwanyama Royal House at Omhedi in Ohangwena Region and more than a thousand invited guests and community members were in attendance.

    King Mandume died at the young age of 23 after a reign of six years. Speakers used the opportunity to praise him and urged the Namibian youth to emulate the qualities, character, behaviour and bravery that the late king of the Oukwanyama people had stood for.

    What stood out for many was to see President Hage Geingob, Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Founding President Sam Nujoma together.

    What made the event stand out further was the inclusion of other traditional authorities, opposition political leaders and foreigners who showed up.

    It was made clear that the celebration of Mandume's life should not be seen as tribal or a political event.

    During the event a book about King Mandume was launched and Nampost launched the King Mandume stamp, a bust of King Mandume was unveiled by Geingob.

    Cultural performances, a poem about King Mandume and a number of traditional activities also formed part of the commemorations.

    Oukwanyama Queen Martha Mwadinombo Kristian Nelumbu said Namibians should keep strengthening peace and unity and move forward for the future of the Namibian youth.

    Nelumbu said the late King Mandume was not only against colonialism but also against crime and hatred, and promoted peace and unity among his people.

    Queen Nelumbu is expected to lay a wreath at King Mandume's grave at Oihole in Angola today.

    In a speech read on behalf of the chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders, King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, the secretary of the Ondonga Traditional Authority, Joseph Asino, called on the youth to emulate King Mandume's life.

    In his speech King Kauluma thanked the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority for carrying out its mandate of commemorating the life of King Mandume. He said this was in line with the Traditional Authorities Act, which aims to promote the peace and welfare of communities and to ensure the observance of customary law.

    President Geingob said he was happy to be part of the commemoration and it was pleasing to witness the presence of Namibians from different ethnic groups at the same occasion.

    “This is indicative of the fact that Namibia is a republic and not a group of Bantustans. Inclusivity spells peace and harmony, where our countrymen and countrywomen come together as one people to share and participate in each other's events. In so doing these events are no longer regional but national,” Geingob said.

    “We should remember there is nothing wrong with belonging to tribes and being proud of that fact, but we should avoid being tribal,” he added.

    Geingob said King Mandume's life was not only a testament to his bravery but a testament to the spirit of the Namibian people and the African people who rejected foreign occupation.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Southern settlements avoid blackoutSouthern settlements avoid blackout Following an announcement by NamPower that it planned to cut electricity supply to almost 50 towns, villages and settlements because of unpaid electricity bills amounting to N$42.5 million, various accounts were settled by the //Karas Regional Council.

    Last week, NamPower informed Namibian Sun that it had been in contact with the affected parties to settle their outstanding accounts but the exercise did not yield positive results.

    Electricity bills of settlements in the //Karas Region listed as defaulters were cleared, //Karas acting chief regional officer Elizabeth Coetzee said on Friday.

    The //Karas Regional Council is responsible for the payment of bulk services of approximate 24 settlements in the region.

    Coetzee said the council last week paid N$800 000 to the national power utility, clearing debt that had accumulated for three months.

    The settlements include Noordoewer, Ariamsvlei, Vaalgras, Kosis, Blouwes, Wortel, Warmbad, Gainachas and Aus.

    The //Karas villages listed in the NamPower notice - Tses, Berseba, Bethanie and Koës - are responsible for their own debt.

    Coetzee made it clear that the council would not be able to assist the villages because of its own budget cuts.

    The chief executive officers for Berseba, Charles Vries; Koës, Willie Humphries; Bethanie, Frans Windstaan (acting); and Tses, Fritz Christiaan, all told Nampa they were scrambling to find solutions.

    Berseba owes N$168 000, while NamPower is demanding an immediate payment of N$91 000. “I inherited part of this debt when I took over at Berseba last October and we are trying our best to find means to prevent an electricity blackout,” Vries said.

    Windstaan and Humphries declined to reveal figures owed to NamPower by Bethanie and Koës. Christiaan, who took over reins at the village council last October, said it would be impossible for the village to pay NamPower.

    He said there was nothing they could do. “We owe NamPower N$1.6 million and they are demanding N$1.5 million, which we are in absolutely no position to pay.” Christiaan said he had communicated this predicament to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.

    “We receive an annual subsidy of N$800 000 from the ministry, which is simply not enough to cover operational expenses and pay bulk suppliers.”

    Their only other income is limited funds they receive from the community for water and electricity.

    He said the village also did not receive its subsidy payments from November last year. He said he was negotiating a payment plan with NamWater to settle arrears.

    “We might get N$150 000 from the ministry soon and these funds will go to the payment of water,” Christiaan said.

    He said the only solution would be for the relevant parties to get together and discuss the financial difficulties.

    “We, NamPower and the government have cash-flow problems. We all have to sit down and talk on the best ways of alleviating the frustrations of our communities,” Christiaan said.

    NamPower last week announced it would cut off electricity supply to a number of towns, villages and settlements in the Khomas, Hardap and //Karas regions on 8 February if the authorities failed to pay.

    The authorities owe NamPower over N$45 million.

    NAMPA

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